Woops, almost missed this one.
Ghenghis | Monvolia | 12/13/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was not well received, but I'm glad I didnt get suckered in by the bad press. The story centers around a set of stolen plates for printing US currency. Perfect plates...and everybody wants them, including the feds. Strong ensemble cast carries a fairly clever story. I mean, how can you go wrong with Hopper/Madsen/Ice- T/Roberts/Forsythe et.al. And if you think these guys are miscast, maybe you're missing the humor. Eric Roberts is hilarious as an obvious southern transplant that leans heavily on his best guinea accent when he "tries" to be tough. And Sasha Mitchell from the old Dallas clan is hysterical as his hulking moronic bonebreaker. You gotta believe that Ice-T's not acting when he threatens to go to work on a couple of the boys with a "blowtorch and vice-grips." Hopper is a rare talent that can make a living playing himself, and Madsen is as menacing and strange as ever as a "just how connected is this guy" loanshark. I loved it. OK, this film begs for an alternate ending but otherwise a fun ride. Doesn't deserve the criticism."
A crowd pleasing product in theaters
Pork Chop | Lisbon, Portugal | 05/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"LUCK OF THE DRAW (2002), carries several trumps, in the form of its
roster of actors, namely, the great Eric Roberts, Dennis Hopper,
Michael Madsen, and ICE-T.
The more surprising aspects is its goal in pleasing the younger
audience, by including the famous rapper, and by the mind-numbing,
excessive mortality and brutality shown in this picture, that older
audiences will find unnecessary, unrealistic or tasteless. There is
also the teenage romance that's woven into the story, confirming this
In addition, the lesson of the movie is its thesis that there is a
complete lack of moral compass, character and religious feeling among
the people today or at least those shown, such that, each and every
which one was out to cut themselves a deal, devoid of principles,
with money and getting ahead in the world the only guiding factors.
Some viewers may find objectionable the blatant, in-your-face
exploitation of female human sexuality for the satisfaction and
amusement of the crime bosses, played by Hopper and Ice-T. Or the the
brutal beating given to an elderly accountant, who has medical
issues. The fact that so many gangsters are consistently trigger
happy, suggests this is intentional, in order to please the younger
Still, this movie is an excellent Hollywood production, guaranteeing
excellent overall entertainment, in its many facets.
Among the strong points to the movie are the action sequences, with
fire-fights with a variety of weaponry, fireballs and explosions.
As for the music, the soundtrack never overdoes itself in the music,
thus managing to avoid distracting viewers from the story, the action or
Another strong point is the serious approach taken with the subject
matter, involving grifters, counterfeiters, money laundering, bank
branch managers, and CPA's (accountants), etc. The grifting aspect,
is interesting considering the unexpected twist in the movie, similar
to the Las Nueve Reinas picture (that also featured money plates in
its US version.)
As for money laundering, we see the US Secret Service accompanying
threats posed to the currency, by fake bills and by branch managers
cleaning the profits of gang activity to reach corporate profit and
individual career objectives. Here, the branch manager has personal
relationships with 2 of the top ring leaders in the community,
cleaning the profits of those dirty business underneath a sheath of
respectability and prestige. They tell the manager " Over the years,
I've paid you well!" indicating those bank employees were getting a
The police's oath to obedience is questioned, by showing a cop who's
the crime ring's payroll, as an informant and killer, allowing a
hospital patient to be taken out.
The script is also excellent, with the occasional amusing line,
such as " How are you ? Fine " to which Roberts replies "Well, that
Overall, notwithstanding the trail of bodies, the bloodbath that
occurs amongst the gangsters, like rats after a piece of cheese, and
even the rivalry among the US Secret Service in getting the merit for
the crackdown, or the jaded hypocrisy that the film suggests exists
in society, from the actors, the quality in all aspects as
mentioned results in a crowd pleasing product in theaters."